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EDIT : REPOST: OWNER REVIEW - Sierra Designs Alpha Tent

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  • edwardripleyduggan
    Hi Greg, A few more edits, but this is moving along nicely. One section of information that would be most useful to incorporate is some detail on the erection
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 2, 2006
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      Hi Greg,

      A few more edits, but this is moving along nicely.

      One section of information that would be most useful to incorporate is
      some detail on the erection of the tent, including time from bag to
      completion. An added brief paragraph would cover this.

      For the next (final?) phase, I'd like you (having incorporated the
      edits) to produce the HTML version and place it in the Owner Review
      section, You will need to log on to the BGT website in order to do
      this. Please alert me on this list when this has been done.



      BGT OR Editor

      Owner Review Sierra Designs Alpha Tent

      Date: January 22, 2006

      Reviewer Information

      Name: Greg Welker
      Age: 45
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
      Weight: 225 lbs (102 kg)
      Email address: gdwelker@...
      City: Bowie
      State: Maryland
      Country: USA

      Backpacking Background: In the 1960s and 70s I was a Boy
      Scout. Those were my first backpacking experiences. Later in the
      1980s, I backpacked on my own in parts of Virginia. Those were the
      days of external frame packs, A-frame tents, wood fires and blue
      jeans as trail pants. In the 1990s my interests turned to sea
      kayaking, and I have done numerous kayak camping trips. In the last
      couple of years I have returned to backpacking, via the lightweight
      and ultralight philosophies. The majority of my backpacking is in
      the Maryland/Virginia/West Virginia/North Carolina area.

      Manufacturer: Sierra Designs
      Year of Manufacture: 2002
      URL: <http://www.sierradesigns.com/>http://www.sierradesigns.com
      Manufacturers Trail Weight: 8 lbs 10 oz (3.91 kg)
      My measured Trail Weight: 9 lbs 0 oz (4.08 kg)

      Manufacturers Packed Size 23" x 7" (58 cm x 17.78 cm)
      My measured Packed Size 22" x 8" (0.6 m x 0.2 m) for body and
      fly. Poles in a separate 20" x 3" (0.5 m x 0.1 m) bag, not including
      tent stakes.

      Number of Doors 2

      Manufacturers Interior Area 46 sq. ft. (4.27 sq m)

      ### EDIT: Manufacturer's

      My measured Interior Area 38.2 sq. ft. (3.55 sq m)

      ### EDIT: sq ft [no periods after sq and ft]

      Manufacturers Vestibule Area 17 sq. ft. (1.58 sq m)

      Manufacturers Peak Height 45" (1.14 m)
      My measured Peak Height 48" (1.22 m)

      Manufacturers Internal dimensions: 93.5 inches long (2.37 m) x 62.5
      inches (1.59
      m) at the foot by 70 inches (1.78 m) at the head.
      My measured Internal dimensions 86 inches long (2.18 m) x 59 inches (1.50
      m) at the foot by 64 inches (1.63 m) at the head.

      ### EDIT: Contract inches to in; don't put a period after!)

      Floor Material 70D Taffeta Nylon, 3000 mm
      Body Material 70D Nylon Rip Stop
      Fly Material 70D Taffeta Nylon, 1500 mm
      Number of Poles 3
      Poles DAC Featherlite SL
      MSRP: $349.95 USD

      The tent and fly are packaged in a coated nylon stuff sack, with the
      poles in a separate nylon bag. A separate bag is provided for the
      tent stakes. Stakes and guy line material was not included. Packed
      size was reasonably close to the advertised packed size.

      The tent is an extended dome design, stretched to a rectangular
      shape. While the body of the tent is free standing, the fly requires
      the placement of two stakes for the front vestibule and one stake to
      hold out the rear portion of the fly.

      The floor is flat coated nylon and seamed at the edges. The interior
      wall to a height of about 10 in (0.3 m)

      ### EDIT: 10 in (30 cm)

      is made of coated
      nylon. There is a mid floor seam which is taped. There is a seam
      around the tent where this wall fabric meets the floor fabric. This
      seam is not taped or seam sealed. The inner tent body has a
      triangular nylon panel in the middle section of the ceiling that can
      be zipped open and rolled out of the way to expose a large panel of
      no-see-um netting, providing ventilation for summer. In winter
      conditions, the nylon panel can be zipped into place to decrease
      ventilation and increase warmth. The front door on the tent body is
      designed to have the nylon door removable if I wish to only use the
      no-see-um netting door. Both front doors zip completely out of the way
      and can be pushed to the left corner of the doorway. The rear door
      is smaller, allowing access to the tent from the rear. Four mesh
      gear pockets are provided along the inside of the tent. The tent
      floor and lower walls are dark blue. The remainder of the inner
      walls are white.

      The tent requires two diagonally placed poles and one front ridge
      pole. The poles are attached to the tent via proprietary Swift Clip
      systems. Where the poles cross, the poles are held together by
      slipping the Swift Clip around the pole juncture then wrapping shock
      cord around the juncture, securing the shock cord by a plastic ball
      into the slit in the Swift Clip. The front ridge pole can be reduced
      to just the top section to support the fly peak in order to not have
      to carry a full third pole in summer use.

      The fly is made of coated nylon with taped seams, and is fastened to
      the tent poles via ladder locks and grommets at the six webbing
      straps that extend from the internal tent floor/wall seam. The fly
      also attaches to the poles via hook and loop fastener

      I have owned two of these tents, and have used them on extended trips
      to the Ontario lake systems and North and South Carolina, and many
      two and three night kayak and car camping trips in the mid Atlantic
      region. Conditions have included nights at 0 degrees F (-17.77 C) to 90
      degrees F (32.22 C),

      ### EDIT: respectively (-18 C) (32 C) i.e. round the conversions up
      or down

      misting rain to heavy downpours and thunderstorms. The
      tent has been used solo, and with two people. Most usage included
      high humidity conditions. The following observations are distilled
      from those trips.

      The fly only comes down to about within 4 inches (0.10 m)

      ### EDIT: 4 in (10 cm)

      of the ground
      which allows wind driven rain to reach the lower portion of the inner
      tent body if the user sets up the tent according to the directions.
      However, if you run the tent stake through the fly webbing, and then
      through the tent body webbing, you can pull the fly
      out further from the tent allowing better rain protection and
      increasing ventilation. The storm flaps on the two doors do not
      fasten down, and in windy conditions rain will get to the zippers and
      leak inside. Since I have yet to find a need to use the back door in
      the fly, I glued the storm flap shut to stop this problem, and the
      leaking water would get inside the tent body at the rear door. I
      have had to seam seal a few of the locations where the hook and loop
      fasteners in the fly are sewn in, as I noted water penetrating this
      area in heavy rain. I have also had to seam seal the seam of the
      floor at the side walls to reduce water infiltration during rain.

      The front vestibule is large enough for several pairs of boots, and a
      large pack. From inside, opening the vestibule fly is best done from
      the top, stepping out over the lower part of the fly door so you do
      not have to crawl forward to reach the lower front zipper pull - a
      wet experience when there is condensation on the fly. The window is
      a nice feature, allowing a view, and good light penetration.

      I originally owned an older version of this tent. That tent
      experienced dramatic water penetration through the floor after about
      a year of ownership. The penetration occurred where ever heavy
      objects rested on the floor during saturating rains. The tent
      was returned to the manufacturer, which tested it and found no
      problems, but agreed to provide a newer model of the tent as a
      replacement. They also returned the original tent. This was very
      good customer service. The newer version has not demonstrated this
      problem as often, although it has occurred once or twice.

      The Alpha is a very good tent for four season camping where
      structural integrity and room are more important than weight. With
      the exception of the problem with the water penetration of the floor
      the tent has given very good service in the three years I have owned
      the current tent.

      Things I like:

      1. Room for two plus ALL your gear.
      2. Structurally sound.
      3. Very good ventilation.

      Things I don't like:

      1. Leaky floor.
      2. Floor would be better if designed as a bathtub type floor of
      better material.
      3. Storm flaps should have hook and loop fasteners to prevent wind
      blown rain from penetrating to the door zippers.
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